Photo gallery below
Coco and Meghan were born on 10th & 11th May 2018 to Sisters Gaja & Milka, bred by Dagmara Spedding, at the Ginger Heaven Kennel in Poland. Both their Sires live in Germany and these diverse pedigrees are new to our breeding lines.
Our sincere thanks to Dagmara, for keeping the girls a little longer and for allowing her precious little ones to come to England to live with us, we will be forever grateful for these beautiful girls who will be loved and treasured for the rest of their lives.
We have been eagerly watching them both grow from just a few days old and even then, Dagmara suspected that she had 5 black & Tan puppies in the litter of Gaja. It became very obvious quite quickly and our interest was more on the BT's than the usual colour. These pups are so very rare, born to pure bred Leonbergers who both carry the BT gene and bred together, although neither breeders knew this before the mating; they then produced five little, incredible beauties. Both parents were very dark in coat with a lot of black tipping. The honesty shown in presenting this litter to the world really has put the BT's on the map and they have been most sought after around the world. Previously in Europe, it is believed that many BT puppies were culled at birth as breeders felt that they were not worthy of keeping. They are all KC registered and have export pedigrees, although this colour is not recognised by the bureaucrats in Germany who set the breed standard for the Leonberger. For this reason, they cannot be shown at KC or FCI events, even more appealing for us!
Dagmara had kindly kept us up to date with photos of them until it was time to go to Poland to meet her and collect our new babies. A journey of 2500 miles across Europe with our good friend Katie on board to help, but well worth the effort. It was great to meet their Mums and Grandma Lapka and other family members there, not to mention meeting Dagmara at last after many years of being in contact.
The girls were amazingly good on the journey home and got quite accustomed to staying in hotels, we also spent a day in a garage after breaking down on the Polish/German border. The service from the RAC left a lot to be desired on this occasion, but the less said about that, the better. The three girls took it all in their stride and thoroughly enjoyed the whole adventure. We also brought with us Coco's sister, Maya, who now lives with good friends Tim & Dee who have Zac from our Zara & Bruin litter 2018. It was a fabulous overall experience that we won't forget in a very long time! Another journey abroad in our quest for genetic diversity complete.
At 18 months old, October 2019, both girls have now been with us just over a year. They continue to please us every day and are a pleasure to have in our pack as well as being excellent to take on holiday with us in our tourer. We had a good year in the show ring with Megi, always getting 1st or 2nd place in small classes. It's difficult having to have a handler for her as she is very close to her Mum, but Jane does her best to keep her attention in the ring, usually bribing her with nice food lol!
Now over two years of age in 2020 and both our girls have passed all their health tests for breeding. Our little Megi is just a delight to own, she is practically perfect in every way, not particularly a pack dog, she loves to be with me on her own. She loves her holidays away from the gang where she has our individual attention. She is a proper little lady, just like our old Elsa was and her daughter JuJu.
Coco is more of a tom boy, very robust and a big girl, she has no idea of her size and will come bowling right at you when out on a walk. She has matured beautifully, we couldn't be more happy with her.
The genetics of both girls are an asset to our breeding. We have always admired the breeding line of Coco and although she is a Black & Tan in colour, she is as valuable to us any other Leonberger we have owned.
This colour has been around in Leonbergers for many years, it is a natural occurrence when both parents carry the BT gene. We believe this goes back to the origins of the breed and involvement with the Newfoundland, no other breed has been used to create this colour, certainly in recent years. According to a graph made available in 2022, there is no evidence of the Rottweiler genetics as some people have suggested. The exact genetics of the red Leonberger are still a mystery so in that sense, the Black & Tan is no different.
Since Coco arrived here with us, there has been much debate about her colour amongst only the British contingent, usually started by our nemesis and targeted towards us. The general feeling in Europe is positive as this colour has always been there in the breed. Some quotes from professional people and their publicly written opinions are:
" The standard needs an urgent update as it was created by people who had no grasp of canine genetics in general, in particular, colour. For what possible reason could a breed standard ban a black/tan? So far in research, there is no colour attributed to the Leonberger, banned or not, that has been proven to carry any serious genes affecting either health or longevity"
"Hopelessly out of date standard"
"The despots who have control, often they interpret the standard to their liking. Look to the control freaks who wrote the standard without any knowledge of canine genetics within a closed gene pool"
Coco had her first litter on 30.11.2020, 11 healthy puppies. All reds and will be KC registered as Lion Gold red.
Megi had her first litter on 28.11. 2021, 6 healthy puppies, 1 male, 5 females.
Coco had her second litter 05.09.2022, 7 healthy puppies, 2 male, 5 female. Pups are all reds and will be KC registered.
Megi had her second litter 21.03.2023, 10 healthy puppies, 4 male, 6 female. 12 born, 2 lost.
LPN 1 2 & Lemp, Clear by parentage LPN1, 2 & Lemp Clear by parentage
Hips: 2:3 Hips: 2:2
Elbows: 0:0 Elbows: 0:0
Eyes: HC Clear 07.08.2022 Eyes: HC Clear 07.08.2022
Gonioscopy: Low grade 2 - 23.02.20 Gonioscopy Grade 1 - 23.02.20
Weight: 68kg Weight: 60kg
Achievements of Meghan
January 15th 2020
Reserve place PGB - 21 months old
Judge - Mr T Ball
October 31st - Welsh Kennel Association
2nd Junior Bitch - 18 months old
Judge - Mrs J Atkinson
Critique - Give me A Royal Princess at Pagency Ginger Heaven. A feminine head with sweet expression. Adequate length of neck Correct ratio of length to height. Level back with nicely rounded rump. Compact loins. Stands parallel in front but a little wide. Presented in good coat and condition. Could not match the driving movement of my first. This is a nice bitch. I feel handler and bitch need more practice to get the best out of her.
August 31st City of Birmingham
2nd Junior Bitch - 15 months old
Judge - Mr A Doedjins
May 9th 2019 Birmingham Ch show
1st Puppy Bitch & BPIB - 12 months old
Judge - Mr Frank Kane
April 2019 WELKS
1st Puppy Bitch
Judge - Mr J Luscott
20th January 2019 Manchester Ch show
2nd place in MPB & qualified for Crufts
Judge - Mr Espen Engh
Critique- Give me a Royal Princess At Pagency Ginger Heaven. A compact bitch, well bodied. She lacks stop which gives her head a somewhat foreign impression. Good neck. Balanced angulation. Could do with some more bone. Pleasing outline, but falls away too much over the croup and could move with more freedom both ends, however quite sound in front. Very good coat quality. Well developed for her age.
15th December 2018 - LKA Her 1st show at 7 months old
4th place in MPB
Judge - Helen Davenport-Willis
Promise Me a Pink Saphire at Pagency Ginger Heaven Give me a Royal Princess at Pagency Ginger Heaven
Sire - Belle Aimie's Body N'Soul Vom Dreimadlhaus Sire - Fejo Ager Trifolium
Dam - Summer Dream of Enigma Ginger Heaven Dam - Summer Enigma's Heritage Ginger Heaven